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Beef shipments resume from Fukushima Pref

67 Comments

Beef shipments resumed from Fukushima Prefecture on Friday two months after restrictions were imposed over fears that cattle had been contaminated in the nuclear accident. The agriculture ministry said that all cattle from the prefecture will undergo tests for radiation before being shipped.

Fukushima is the last prefecture to have the beef shipment ban -- which was imposed on Iwate, Fukushima, Tochigi and Miyagi prefectures in mid-July -- lifted after safety measures protecting livestock from contamination were put in place.

Local governments must now inspect all cattle before allowing the beef to be shipped to food markets, a farm official said. Only farmers whose cattle are confirmed to be safe can resume shipments.

Prior to the ban, almost 3,000 cattle feared to have been tainted with radioactive cesium were shipped nationwide, slaughtered and sold after the animals were fed rice straw exposed to fallout from the tsunami-triggered nuclear crisis.

Hay stored outside is thought to have been contaminated by radioactive materials from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Affected animals had been sold since late March, with much of the meat eaten in restaurants and school canteens and at family dinner tables nationwide.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I sure would like to hear more about these tests. Is the animal feed also being subjected to tests?

Local governments must now inspect all cattle before allowing the beef to be shipped

Are they inspecting cattle or beef?

lifted after safety measures protecting livestock from contamination were put in place.

Safety measures such as? Washing hands perhaps? Wearing gauze masks? Making the cows gargle?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

on time announcement/delivery to celebrate Respect for the Aged day !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Affected animals had been sold since late March, with much of the meat eaten in restaurants and school canteens and at family dinner tables nationwide

SHAMELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Ship all of the beef from Fukushima to all over Japan and let the whole country suffer!! This is totally outrageous!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Beef shipments resumed from Fukushima Prefecture on Friday two months after restrictions were imposed over fears that cattle had been contaminated in the nuclear accident.

Ok so we have gone from yes it was contaminated to "fears that cattle had been contaminated" FFS the cattle were contaminated your tests even proved it. And your response was to allow the population to eat the meat so why on earth would anyone believe a word you lying scum say. Even if it is contaminated your incompetence or complicity will allow it to be sold and eaten anyway. This is why l will never ever buy Japanese beef and limit other foods grown in this country because you cannot be trusted. I would rather pay more and eat imported food than trust your pathetic attempts at food safety controls.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Incredible disinformation and deception.

Remember about a month ago when it was reported that they will check one animal every 3 months? This is the confirmation you will get. Probably, the farmer can select the animal to be checked, so that one can be kept and fed a special diet to ensure a clean test result.

There is no equipment, funding or system for this at the national level, let alone at the "local government" level, to actually confirm safety of such a volume of beef. The practical technology infrastructure doesn't even exist. It probably never will. It would take too long and increase market price too much, when there is plenty of other beef on the market that does not require such testing.

Also, remember the special definition of "safe" that we now enjoy. Today in Japan, the legally safe standard for food and drink is in some cases many times higher than an international standard for nuclear waste, which would require special handling and processing. Google kizyunti_e.pdf for an interesting look at this.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Great news everybody! They stopped the nuke disaster and scraped all the plutonium off the fields and schools. Finally back to normal. Yeharrr!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

spidapin24 Althougn I do not know where you are from, I thing your home country the same as or worse than Japan.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

trose

spidapin24 Althougn I do not know where you are from, I thing your home country the same as or worse than Japan.

I dont think so, my home country actually would not sell food it knows is contaminated with radiation. Which is why it was testing food imported from here

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Bluewitch, alladin, spidapig@ Right on with your comments. Badmigraine has some good points too. I mean the article clearly says they sold contaminated beef to peole since march, so these aren't "fears" at all but rather confirmed contaminants.

What's worse is that's it's 99% preventable: a blanket ban just like Chernobyl. Badmigraibe correctly points out that they do not have the capability of checking all beef and that in order to do these tests, they have to reduce checking veggies and hoer foods. This why dr. Kodama denounced the Japanese parliament, they'd simply rather look after business interests instead of health. An utter disgrace. I know many people who boycott this foods, can't trust the local officials to use arbitrary radiation tests, they're not independent or even qualified - even if they had the tools, which they don't.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I understand the govt. wants to appease the farmers, who would get their meat onto the market no matter what condition it was in. However, my concern is the lack of testing. Up until recently, testing was virtually non-existant - there are hardly and facilities and each machine can only do a few samples per day. The former vice minister of industry admitted that testing was hopelessly inadequate (on an NHK doco). I doubt the situation has changed. I would still be reluctant to trust this meat.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well, I am at a loss. Imagine the backroom dealings that got this through. Sickening. It's getting harder to stay here everyday. How can they poison their own population? (I hate being angry typing guy, but frustration grows daily)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

proven now that Cesium hay fed beef from Miyagi even got to Okinawa and was not tested and consumed.All 47 prefectures.http://www.jiji.com/jc/zc?k=201109/2011091600964&g=soc 3000 farms..providing one or two cows that were not fed Cesium hay and who will be processed if their cesium/meat levels are less than 50Bq?KG...about 260 cows a day to be processed. http://www.minyu-net.com/news/news/0916/news1.html and what I can gather from the press releases is that if one 1kg sample of meat from a cow is under 50bq/KG the rest of the herd can be sold for 3 MONTHS without further testing. Bear in mind that unlike BSE, the cesium is distributed unevenly throughout the meat.

"Testing all cows"......far far from it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am not talking about foods imported to your country from Japan. What I would like to say is how you are sure your domestically produced foods are safe enough. For example, not so long ago in the U.S., beef infected with mad-cow disease were being sold despite its strict food inspection system. Since even the developed countries like U.S. are like in this situation, I think the state of less developed countries are even worse. Wherever you are, you will never be safe.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

アメリカン beef never looked so good!!!!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Their logic: The radioactive stuff is basically all over the place and out of our control, so a little radioactive beef can't hurt, can it?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Burakumin@,

The govt doesn't care about farmers, this is about big business and always was. When he nationwide chains saw major drops in sales they jumped; many farmers lost everything and will never get sorted. Bottom line everyone here seems to agree on is: no radiation in the food. The govt calls 500 bq safe, but it isn't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zichi@,

That depends on the city in question. It varies widely, and some in Kansai have got deplorable menus, but there are many that use fresh local veggies by farmers in their own communities. Kanagawa and Tokyo schools had problems because they imported meat from affected areas, so it's a toss up with fish and meat since they cant always be local. I know many people doing EXACTLY like you; in fact I know some who won't touch any food notlrth of Kyushu.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't eat Tohoku food or imported Genetically Moified food. All I can say is thank Allah that in Japan, food is labelled by it's prefectural origin. This will be next to go.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Beef shipments resume from Fukishima,.......Thanks for the warning

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Amendment, spelt Fukushima wrong

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On a somewhat positive note, I know that my family is safe consuming imported food here in Japan. Thanks to the decades-long concerted protectionist drive on the part of Japanese politicians and agricultural concerns, those imports are more stringently inspected, scrutinized and vetted than is the case with food imports possibly anywhere else in the world.

It’s another story for food made in Japan. Pressured by Japanese agricultural concerns, Japan’s food-safety inspectors knowingly turn a blind eye to ‘minor’ health-impacting infractions in Japan’s food distribution chain — though such concerns are pinpointed immediately, and regularly make propaganda-evoking headlines, when the infraction is related to an import.

Heck, I’m even buying food from China in favor of that with the ever-prominent ‘kokusan’ (made/grown/raised in Japan) label nowadays; and the imported food is still much more inexpensive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Most of the guys here are fortunate who come from countries where safe foods are available.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@beangry

This why dr. Kodama denounced the Japanese parliament, they'd simply rather look after business interests instead of health. An utter disgrace. I know many people who boycott this foods, can't trust the local officials to use arbitrary radiation tests, they're not independent or even qualified - even if they had the tools, which they don't.

I'm glad I'm not the only fan of him in this forum...Mr. Kodama is my hero!! (^_^) Cheers~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9sTLQSZfwo&feature=related

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"The agriculture ministry said that all cattle from the prefecture will undergo tests for radiation before being shipped."

About the only 'testing' the agriculture ministry is doing is the weight of the envelopes they receive to resume shipments and/or how much complaining about how 'unfair' it is that Fukushima has to bear the burden of bans on livestock, etc. You'll soon hear, after it's admitted the cattle were not inspected properly and cesium has been detected in Fukushima exports here and there, the minister say, "We should all ingest some radiation nation wide to better understand and remove the burden solely from the people of Fukushima!"

trose: "For example, not so long ago in the U.S., beef infected with mad-cow disease were being sold despite its strict food inspection system"

I don't think so. The problem with the US system is their lack of testing, not tainted products. Only a few cows have been discovered with BSE, and did enter the food chain.

Anyway, the so-called testing being done in these areas actually makes US testing look simply amazing!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@trose

not so long ago in the U.S., beef infected with mad-cow disease were being sold despite its strict food inspection system.

I'm afraid you have been duped by Japan's well-oiled agriculture propaganda machine on that one.

At the time, Japan had 26 mad-cow cases to the US's 3, but agricultural concerns and the Japanese government, with cooperation of the Japanese press, successfully deceived the Japanese public into thinking that Japanese beef was safe while beef from abroad was deadly.

Here are the worldwide figures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovine_spongiform_encephalopathy

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Very true. Actually GM papayas were recently imported into Japan from Hawaii. It is completely impossible to buy food that wasn't in some way contaminated, but I do try to limit what gets onto my family table. No Hokkaido food. A small risk comparitively as it is a big island, but there is cesium being found in vegies there and of course the seafood. No Japanese dairy.. Bought yoghurt maker and Easy-yo yoghurt mix on rakuten from NZ. Powdered milk from Aus and cheeses from costco. Vegies from western Japan only. No mushrooms from Japan. Bread from costco, basmati rice and last year's rice. As much canned tomato from Italy or mexican tomatoes from costco as possible. Aussie beef, canadian pork, foreign fish.My position is extreme, but one I'm comfortable with. Stopping eating out gave me a chance to cook and I love cooking. It is everyone's personal choice to buy what they like and that is what I chose.I am man of the house and if we all eat 1 bq less of radiation I sleep better at night.

There is an excellent blog that lists safer choices for Japanese food. Look up okfood blog on google and you will find it. You can buy quite a lot of good food.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, Japan had a long history of not eating meat, so they will survive this in any case..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No Hokkaido food.

I just go by the radiation levels (prefer .05 on the map below or less), and I think northern Tohoku and Hokkaido aren't bad:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/radiation-levels.html

I won't buy anything from southern Tohoku, nothing from Fukushima or Miyagi, and I'm staying away from all Japanese beef until they have a system I trust

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Schools in Suginami-ku are listing origins of all produce used in school lunches on their websites.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The DSP government cannot be trusted. I wouldn't buy Fukushima beef period. The safety standards (radiation levels) are set for the producers and farmers, and not for the consumers. But "Where's the Beef"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

import gyoza sounds better by the day.....................

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Criminal and pathetic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Farmboy you are quite right. I am a Bq counter, and if ppl accused me of being obsessive compulsive they may be right. Probably quite safe. I just believe that the same produce from Kyuushuu has less contamination. That is a thing I am prepared to pay for, but for most people, 10 bq of cesium in some vegies is going to be pretty neglible unless you eat vast amounts. I just like to go to all lengths to get as little of the nasty stuff as I can. For people who are healthier than I, and who don't have infants, then they will most likely pee out most of the bad stuff. If you can avoid large accumulation of cesium and iodine and the things that the monbusho decide not to inform us of, then you will probably be OK. Damage minimisation is what we all should be aiming at. Having said that, nobody but the Japanese govt. Believes that their 'safe' limits are safe. The kijun decided by the government here are the highest in the world. If something falls under those figures it doesn't mean much really.. Less than 500 bq doesn't mean safe to me. 10, 12 bq is probably safe by REAL international standards. Just rememember that it is accumalative and choose wisely and you might be OK. Twitter hashes you may want to follow are osen, hibaku and ngfood. Someone said the government doesn't care about farmers. This is true. They have been instructed to sell their produce and worry later. But compared to other countries, these farmers are very well supported and reimbursed by the govt. This country right now runs on the lovely rule that ' you are safe until proven unsafe' Except that nobody except for citizen groups are bothering to check. The MEXT data comes out three months late.. That is the ministry of education folks!? You will definitely find out that you ate contaminated food in December. Remember back in the day, you were out walking in the rain? The mon usho released this last week.See how the Cesium fell... All the way past Nagoya. http://d.hatena.ne.jp/saunderson/touch/20110912

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't care what it is, I'm not eating any food if I know it comes from Fukushima or the neighboring prefectures. I've also tried to avoid vegetables grown in Kanto, but you never what the heck they use in the cafeterias and restaurants.

I understand the govt. wants to appease the farmers, who would get their meat onto the market no matter what condition it was in

This makes them NO better than some producers in mainland China who'll do anything for that extra buck. They'll use chemicals or hormones to visually improve the food. Likewise, these farmers aren't sure whether their food is contaminated but they don't give a damn as long as the money comes rolling in. I feel sorry for the vegetable growers, but they should be compensated or assisted financially, not force feed everyone with food that may or may not be contaminated. This reminds me of those people selling whale or dolphin meat knowing full well they've got heavy metals, just to further their own cause - screw everyone use, like children.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Doesn't make any difference, it's not only about the meat, for the bone and other parts as well in processed form (dried, powdered, colored, mixed with different additives etc.) are already in circulation since the disaster.

Some processed parts of the cows such as skin, bone are regularly used additives not only in the catering but in the medical and cosmetic industry as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's quite simple. Just don't eat beef. complaining never help no solve any problems. Personal safety is an individual responsibility.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Munya Times got it right. The creeping contamination is insidious and will be pervasive. In addition to the unsafe things declared "safe" under current provisional standards or never checked at all, will be the vast river of banned, unsafe items re-entering the food/cosmetic/animal feed/medicine/supplement system by indirect routes.

Aonori, seaweed, veggie juice and supplements, tofu, butter, flour, canned milk-tea and latte, chocolate, ice cream, you name it. And then there are the things normal people never know about--additives for texture, flavor, color, volume, collagen, firming, etc.

It's going to be almost impossible to avoid all of this, and the effect is cumulative.

I've relocated to near Shikoku and we can buy a lot of local produce. That is good. But now, seeing all the Fukushima, Nagano, Ibaraki and Chiba produce flooding the local markets when none was ever here before, we are getting scared about the local school lunches, about fish, about most everything. If it were just me I'd probably take my chances, but we have an unborn baby, a toddler, a kindergartener and a first-grader. How can I just sit here and hope it will all be OK?

Official pronouncements that are outright lies like "we are achieving cold shutdown" and "all cattle will be tested and safe" make me thing I'm better off leaving Japan, even if it means the end of my current career path.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Darren,

Thanks for the link, and I totally understand your caution. The thing is, radiation seems to pop up in unexpected places, not just toward the east. Take this recent data, for example. Why is Yamaguchi prefecture, nowhere near the nuke plant, more than twice as high as surrounding prefectures? Weak batteries? Operator asleep at the geiger? Another nuke plant problem? We just don't know. And then, people are only talking about cesium, not other stuff that was evidently released as well. I just don't get that warm, fuzzy feeling of being protected from harm by the government.

http://radioactivity.mext.go.jp/en/monitoring_by_prefecture_environmental_radioactivity_level_prefecture/2011/09/13835/index.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Farmboy: cheers mate! Apparently yamaguchi is another plave that just has hogh environmental radiation. I have a friend there and we discussed it and I immediately assumed it was from the Hiroshima bombing, but she said no! Yamaguchi is naturally high in rads.. Gifu has the highest natural rad count in Japan, and Tottori used to have uranium mines so there are places there that are quite high too.. They say kansai is naturally high because of granite from Mt. Rokko which contains uranium. I really don't know. I have made enquiries but.. ? Not knowing and following the govt. Data has not really cleared up anything for me. I can only decide to take the safest course available to me following the recently released Wspeedi info that shows the spread of cesium and buy products from outside that area. It seems that anywhere north of Nagoya got more cesium and so it has been my choice to avoid that produce. To be completely honest all we can do is damage reduction. I intend to do that and follow all the contaminated food as far as it goes. Common sense really eh? The whole country was contaminated. Yes evdn Okinawa. Limiting the damage is now up to consumers like you and I. The govt. Did introduce a new kijun last week for food that is to be supplied to infants. One positive thing I guess.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

everyone is rightfully complaining. It is crazy. But no one is doing anything. It is time to go to the parliament and say "enough is enough"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Shefts this a pertinent question. Judging from the way the police stood in front of the uyoku last week in tokyo and let them not only shout out out 'shhot the gaijin' 'arrest them' and 'kick them out' at the rally in Shinjuku, choosing to mash up protesters and protect the right wing idiots, I doubt the govt. Here really care what non-Japanese think or even what the Japanese think. Check it out on youtube. The govt will continue using every sly trick and their brownshirts to shut people up. They have sat on info that could have saved lives, they have delayed releasing all sorts of scientific results for up to three months. They have an agenda and that agenda does not involve food safety or really making the lot of their citizens any better. People in Fukushima are still being fed misleading info ( and that includes the farmers) and being denied full, detailed info about radiation and even medical test results. Japan is trying whatever it can to save face and present a certain image to the world. I think the best anyone can do here is protect themselves with knowledge, because the govt here has a propaganda war to win that doesn't seem to appreciate dissent.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Darren, Didn't know about all that. Thanks - good info.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There just needs to be a through, reliable and transparent testing program for all foods from potentially affected areas. We need safe food and the farmers and coops need to make ends meet.

That's the only possible solution that's fair to consumers and producers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is sad, they may cause a panic on beef thru out the country. As you have seen Australia and New Zealand have stepped up on the commercials for Beef. The Government of Japan has to be careful before releasing such articles. I usually buy beef from Australia and the US but will be more vigilant on the beef I buy from Japan. I feel sorry for the Fukushima farmers and hope the TEPCO will reimburse them for the current and future losses.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NP farmboy! here is the WSPEEDI info that the dept. of education and tech..blah blah just decided to release (it is only a simulation,but it shows just how much of Japan was probably affected by Cesium and the concentration and the rainfall around that time. http://nsed.jaea.go.jp/fukushima/data/20110906.pdf I think that there is still plenty of good food to be had but caution should be exercised.Some Japanese scientists are coming out and claiming that the information being released is not of good quality nor timely.All anyone can do is look at the data and make their own decisions. There must be food that escaped the brunt of all this cesium..but how much? some video about the police response to peaceful anti nuclear protest in Tokyo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4WU8B9Ajtk The French man and his wife being physically assaulted while the right wing scream racial taunts in the background. I would like Japan today to contact this man and interview him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHZGUD6w0k8

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've been making a point of only buying imported foods, especially meats. Thankfully, my local Maruetsu supermarket has a steady supply of Aussie beef.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The only two reasons I could think of at the moment for the release of tainted foodstuff on the population of Japan is Population reduction and Money. Both reasons are inhumane to say the least.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

http://blog.safecast.org/

Educate yourself. The life you save may be your own.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My wife is Japanese and we make sure our beef says 米国 the Kanjis for USA, then Canada, Mexico, sometimes Australia, but come on, I love Japan but I am not stupid enough to think that everything is just fine up there in Fukushima when they found CESSIUM here in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, which is next to me in WESTERN TOKYO!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Darren - Thanks VERY much for posting all of that valuable information. It seems like you've really done your homework!! Do you regularly post anywhere (?) or know of any Facebook pages or other ways for foreign residents of Japan to get/share information about the latest radiation readings, how to acquire safe food, and other issues affecting our health post 3-11?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Equality> my pleasure. ex-skf blog is sensational and very well researched. http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/ the okfood blog is tremendous too citizens have called up many companies and asked them if they are using tapwater, and the origins of the ingredients, the Bq sampling methods and lowest cutoff points for detection. http://okfood.blog.fc2.com/ and check hashtags on twitter for osen hibaku ngfood and okfood.... you can find a lot of valuable info there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and I tweet as Osaka_Daz

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks, Darren. MUCH appreciated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichi:

The majority of the prefectures do not have foodstuffs contaminated by radiation and anyone giving that impression is misleading and fear mongering.

While it's true the majority of food is not contaminated, the problem is we don't know what products are contamination-free. If the authorities were thoroughly scanning everything that hits market and also publishing results, we would be able to restore consumer confidence.

This isn't happening and what minor social pressure there is to promote more checks is not getting much mainstream media attention. I think a bit of fear-mongering is the order of the day to help promote awareness of the very real risks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with horrified,

Municipalities knowingly procured beef and vegetables from Fukushima and surrounding prefectures to put into school lunches after the Nuclear accident. WHY do something like this.

It's not like this nuclear incidents after effects is going to go away in a year and the NPP in question is still kicking out pollutants real time and the wind is taking it where ever.

So everybody in Japan be totally cautious about foodstuff don't get lulled be the lies. People are still having their foodstuff checked in the Ukraine even after 25 years cause foodstuff is still contaminated because of the soil and whatnot.

Oh by the way the sunflowers that were planted to absorb the cesium around Fukushima No. 1 NPP only absorbed 0.05 percent of the cesium so the farm ministry seems disappointed but really what did they expect.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I meant don't get lulled by the lies that everything is safe.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

zichi:

If there's no radiation problem in a prefecture then the food will be safe too.

That is true only if you are talking about all raw produce and meat being checked at points of origin in these contaminated prefectures. A large percentage of foodstuff at your local supermarket is the result of processing of ingredients from all over the country. Condensed and dried milk products are in many items. So is wheat, barley and rice. Since the farmland is not being properly decontaminated, we are theoretically looking at a continuous long-term consumption of low-dose radioisotopes for a lifetime.

And I haven't even mentioned seafood. That is something that has slipped under the radar, somewhat, because the main focus for everyone seems to be land-based radiation. Fish and seaweed products are used in everything from miso to dashi.

There doesnt seem to be much respect for prefectural boundaries with this industrial accident. Everyone will get their proper dose in time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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